Sunday, January 4, 2009
Sunday Morning: New Year
Yesterday I did a lot of reading, mostly researching a question of word origin for a friend's blog. In the course of my research I rediscovered a website/blog that I had heard about some years ago. That blog's New Year's post contained a poem about ringing in the New Year, but it also makes reference to ringing out the Old Year. (Ring in the New Year -- a link to a poem that reflects hope and shows how little things have changed over the years.)
I like the idea of ringing out the old year. Annual vista points are important, but I feel that there is an imbalance: too much reminiscence, not enough call to action, too much melancholy and not enough hopeful determination, too much looking back and not enough looking forward. What are we to do?
One of my favorite phrases from the Bible is one that says, "forgetting those things which are behind, I press on..." (This is also a good excuse for being forgetful.)
The context is an older Christian, writing from a Roman jail cell, contemplating his future.
I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.
My friends, I don't feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead.
I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.
What I like in this is that forgetting what is behind is an option. We learn from the past, treasure the memories, but we don't live there. We don't live in the future either, but the future inspires us to move forward in the present.
Sometimes it feels like my "get up and go" got up and went. So I return to passages such as the one quoted above to inspire me to live large in the coming year. To ring out the old, to ring in the new, and to "run with patience" the course marked out for me. See you on the jogging path of life!